Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim recently emphasized that he has no intentions of trading star quarterback Kyler Murray, saying there was a “zero chance” of trading the Pro Bowl passer.
Keim and the Cardinals took another step toward securing his future Wednesday. The Cardinals have exercised the fifth-year club option for Murray, according to a league source.
A former top overall pick in 2019, Murray is seeking a blockbuster contract extension. His agent, Erik Burkhardt, released a statement this offseason expressing a desire for fair market value for the former Oklahoma star.
‘Kyler Murray makes me a better GM’
Murray passed for 3,797 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions last season. Additionally, he rushed for 423 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Keim, during a press conference, expressed a need for patience with such an important negotiation.
“The way we have approached it is we have free agency, we have the draft, and then we will take a deep breath and sort of refocus,” Keim said. “That’s sort of the reason every other player that has been a third-year quarterback has been (extended) in the middle of or late summer. It’s no different for us. Nothing has changed in terms of him being our long-term and short-term quarterback.
“Listen, I was a decent GM when Carson Palmer was our quarterback. When he retired, I wasn’t very good. I am smart enough to know that Kyler Murray makes me a better GM.”
Murray: ‘AZ is home’
Murray recently expressed a conciliatory attitude toward the Cardinals.
“I wanna win Super Bowls with the Cardinals,” Murray wrote on social media. “AZ is home.”
Replying to criticism, Murray wrote: “Run whatever narratives y’all wanna run with… but questioning my work ethic, we not going for.”
Previous statement from his agent
In a lengthy statement issued earlier this offseason, Burkhardt noted he has already sent a detailed contract proposal to the Cardinals.
“Kyler wants to be direct with loyal Arizona Cardinals fans and the great community of the Valley in stating his two very important goals and objectives: 1) He absolutely wants to be your long-term QB. 2) He desperately wants to win the Super Bowl,” Burkhardt stated.
“Achieving both goals will take incredible commitment from himself and the entire organization. To overtly communicate Kyler’s desire to be the Cardinals’ long-term QB, we sent a detailed contract proposal to the organization.
“It was important to Kyler that his proposal reflected all of the following: provides financial protection, is in line with the current QB market that compares his results alongside relevant comps, lowers his 2022-23 salary cap number to allow the Cardinals to re-sign other deserving teammates and add additional free agents, and, most importantly, represents a real commitment from the organization to see if their ultimate goals align with 2 above (consistently competing for championships and Kyler as their QB).
“Actions speak louder than words in this volatile business. It is now simply up to the Cardinals to decide if they prioritize their rapidly improving 24-year-old, already two-time Pro Bowl QB, who led the organization from 3 wins before his arrival to 11 wins and their first playoff appearance in 5 years or rather, if they choose to financially prioritize committing to other areas and continuing to merely talk about addressing Kyler’s long-term future as their QB.
“Unfortunately, every player, coach, and executive in the NFL knows (or should know) that words and hypothetical contractual promises are regularly dismissed and fleeting in this business. Kyler remains hopeful that the organization chooses to commit so that he can continue leading the Cardinals to further success and value for many years to come.”
‘It’s the business of the NFL’
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has previously downplayed the situation. Murray and Kingsbury are both Burkhardt clients.
“It’s the business of the NFL,” Kingsbury said. “It comes with the territory.”